There’s no point denying that we’re in a tough spot, but travel offers hope.
Times are hard right now, there’s no getting away from that. Our way of life has come to an abrupt halt. People are unwell, losing their jobs and facing an uncertain future. Holidays are cancelled or deferred, sport fixtures called off and music festivals postponed. Those of us in the travel industry are feeling it too, with bookings drying up, airlines under pressure and offices being closed. Writing this from my bedroom–come–temporary office, I’m meant to be packing my suitcase for a trip to Jordan tomorrow. Some things, however, are more important. Instead, I’m working from home, practicing ‘social distancing’, washing my hands often, and video calling my 84-year old nan to check she is ok.
Governments around the world have implemented quarantine measures, travel restrictions and even lockdowns, in places where the Coronavirus is causing the most problems. Make sure you listen to the relevant authorities and follow these procedures; they are designed to keep us all safe and help us get back to normal as quickly as possible.
Travel for now, is on hold. But this won’t be forever. The virus is going to pass, be it in a few weeks or a few months. Things will return to normal. And I don’t know about you, but when they do, I’ll need a holiday – preferably one that includes a visit to Petra!
This is why we are not giving up on travel. This is a temporary blip, but this time next year you could be trekking to Machu Picchu, gazing at the ancient Pyramids of Giza or spotting lions on safari in Africa, Coronavirus nothing but a distant memory. Over the next few weeks, however tough things get, travel should be a beacon of hope, something to dream about and look forward to.
Hard times are what bring people together and are when you realise you have more in common with others than you may think. I’m thinking about those people around the world who rely on travel to support their families, especially those in poorer countries. 1 in 10 jobs in the world rely on tourism – that’s a lot of people hurting right now. But we will all get through this – the world has faced bigger disasters than this and has pulled through.
So, what am I trying to say? Two things really. Firstly, look after yourself and your family, follow government advice and stay safe during these uncertain times. But please don’t give up on travel, for the industry (which needs your support), and for you. Exploring far flung corners of the globe, meeting likeminded people and having incredible experiences are what life is all about. We all have dreams of where we want to go. And whilst I may not be heading to Jordan tomorrow, I will be soon enough. As will you – to India, China, Egypt, Peru, Africa or wherever else takes your fancy.
So, whilst you’re taking a break from home schooling the kids, or frantically searching for the last loo roll, why not start thinking about your holiday for winter this year, or summer 2021. It’ll improve your day, I promise.
To see our latest travel advice from the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, please click here.